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  the catalogue : surfboard fins 

surfboards paipos* fins board portraits

the catalogue : surfboard fins
The fin, or skeg, is a stabilizing wing attached  on the bottom of the board at the tail.
By providing drag, in fact slowing the board's speed, it vastly improves the rider's control.

Fin Performance
1. Any discussion of surfboard fin performance must first be based on an understanding of surfboard dynamics.
Critically,
surfboards are planning hulls, as noted by Lindsay Lord (1946), planning on the meniscus, the barrier between the surface of the wave and the air.
Conversely, the fin is hyrodynamic, that is, it travels through the water,
and thus performs according to displacement hull principles.


2. The assessment of surfboard performance is essentially subjective, the rider invariably refering to the feel of the board or fin, and the vast majority of surfers' knowledge about boards and fins is "incorrect, inaccurate, and unclear."
For example see the current wikipedia entry.

3. With a change in the design, dimensions, or position of the fin on a surfboard, the rider invariably reports a change the feel of the board.

4.
The difficulties associated with a "technical" analysis of fin performance and considerable, and a "large influence on the design relates to aesthetic considerations and perceived market expectations."

- Anthony Livanos (Faculty of Engineering University of Western Australia):
Computational Fluid Dynamics Investigation of Two Surfboard Fin Configurations.
.members.iinet.net.au/~livanos/CFD_report/Report.doc

History
While the first use of the surfboard fin is commonly accredited to Tom Blake (Hawaii) in 1934, the contributions to the development of by Blake and Bob Simmons (1946-1949) are substantially over-rated.
The most significant work was by George Downing, Woody Brown and Wally Froiseth in Hawaii, and Joe Quigg in California in the late 1940s.
They were followed by George Greenough (1965-1970) and Simon Anderson (1980-1983).

Dimensions
The standard dimensions are
height (or length or depth), base, span, and distance set from the tail.
Other rarely considered specifications are surface area (often noted on sailboard fins), thickness and the foil or cord.
See below.


Fin Nonsense, 2014:
What was she on? Sally Fitzgibbons & FCS ll
Surfersvillage Global Surf News
29 May, 2014 - DESIGN: In some of the most challenging conditions ever seen for a womenís ASP Tour event, Aussie golden gal Sally Fitzgibbons has emerged victorious over Steph Gilmore while riding the new FCS II system and the JW Medium fin template.
Over the course of the event competitors were forced to adjust from the long open face walls of Cloudbreak to the funnelling barrels at Restaurants. Mixing backhand tube riding with powerful carves ...


circa 1934
Tom Blake's Nub - Keel Fin 
solid timber 
2 x 12 b @ 4 inches  (Approximation)
Tom Blake's first fin with Big Surf Handle
Photograph and hand written caption 
by Tom Blake.

Surfer Magazine,
March 1981, Volume 22, Number 3, 
page 37.


 Of all the hundreds of pre-1935 photos I've studied at the Bishop, the Hawaiian State Archives, and on the mainland, I have never seen a legitimate photo of a board with a fin prior to Blake's1935 fin
- it just didn't happen before 1935, regarless of what others say.
-Gary Lynch :
Australian Surfers Journal
Vol 3 No 1 Summer 2000 page 10.
Aust wood fin,
                1957
circa 1935
Nub Fin/  Keel
Tom Blake
solid timber 
2 x 12 b @ 6? inches  (Approximation)

Photograph: Bjorn DeBoer  :
LONGBOARD Magazine
Vol 4 No 5.  1996
November/December
page 68


Tom Blake Twin
                fin, circa 1943
circa 1943,
Tom Blake Twin fins, 
Timber
4 x 12 b @ 2 inches  (Approximation)
Hollow timber board. 
Note fin camber.
The feet are Tom Blake's.

Uncredited photograph, 
Australian Surfers Journal
Vol 3 No 1 Summer 2000 page 10.


1942
Keel Fin - Pacific Systems Homes
Redwood - varnished
2 x 14 b @ 3 inches (approximation)
Waikiki Surf Board Model
Pacific Systems Homes Inc, L.A. California

Spencer and Annette Croul Collection
Blackburn, page 60


1946 - 1947
Simmons' Radius Fin - Rounded Keel
Wood and fibreglass
6 x 12 b @ 2 inches (approximation)
Bob Simmons' Laminate Board, USA.

Hoffman collection
Blackburn, page 72


1948
Simmons' Twin Fin
Wood and fibreglass
6 x 12 b @ 2 inches (approximation)
Bob Simmons' Laminate Board, USA.

Dick Metz Collection, Dana Point, California.
Blackburn, page 73



1949
Simmons' Twin Fin
Wood and fibreglass
7 x 10 b @ 3 inches (approximation)
Bob Simmons' Balsa Board, USA.
Note  concave tail section.
Hoffman Collection.
Blackburn, page 77

1949 
Simmons' Radius Fin - Rounded Keel 
Koa Wood and fibreglass 
3 1/2 x 13 1/2 b  inches 

Surfer Magazine
The Malibu Fin Appendix
Volume 17 No 2 July 1976 , page 69


circa 1949 
'Hot Curl' Laminated Fin 
Laminated timber and fibreglass 
7 x 6 1/2 b @ 1 1/2 inches. Pod 8 1/2''
Warringah Surf Permit 1960-1961 : #1099

23. HOT CURL SURFBOARD / SOLID TIMBER - approx. 10', late 1940's, replica fin taken from the original (recently broken)...
Notes, dimensions and photograph : 
Sydney Surf Auction
Mona Vale  Hotel, Sydney, 30 October 2005 
Catalogue No. 23
Thanks to Mick Mock


circa 1950
Timber Addition
8 x 10 b @ 0 inches  (Approximation)
Fixed to board, if not laminated, by fibreglass.
Possibly added post production to a solid timber board.
Note broken tip.
USA

Photograph :Bjorn DeBoer
LONGBOARD Magazine
Vol 4 No 5.  1996
November/December
page 68


1953 
Simmons' Removable 
(Wedge fit into channel)
Marine Plyood 
4 1/2 x 6 (b)  inches 

Surfer Magazine
The Malibu Fin Appendix
Volume 17 No 2 July 1976 , page 69


1955 
Butterfly Fin 
Laminated Timber 
8 x 7 b @ 4 inches  (Approximation)
Velsy-Jacobs Surfboards USA
Futuristic in template and concept
Revived 1978

Photograph : Bob Meistrell
Longboard Magazine
Vol 12 No 1 March -April 2004  page 33.


circa 1957
Wood fin,
8 x 9 b @ 1 inches  (Approximation)
Okinuee - Hollow malibu board adaptation.
Note base support and nails.
Brisbane Australia, 

Darryl Homan collection
Photograph : Michael Simmons
 Australian Surfers Journal
Vol 3 No 1 Summer 2000 page 38


1959
D Fin
Laminated Timber ?
8 x 9 b @ 0 inches  (Approximation)
Very ealy foam (polystyrene?) Malibu board by
McDonagh Surfboards
Red 1961-2 Surfcraft registration,
Warringah Council (Northern Beaches), Sydney.

1960
Roger "The Duck" Keiran Fin and Wedge Finbox
Wood fin 11'' x 4 1/4'' base x 8'' span
(height actually 13'' but allowance for fin box insertion).
Fin box, fibreglass 7'' x 2 1/2'' and 1 1/2'' deep.

Note that the fin base and finbox lengths are not consistent and the fin maybe a replacement.

Images courtesy of Mick Mock, Sydney Surf Auction 2010, Catalogue #103.


1960
Downing Gun Fin
Wood and fibreglass
10 x 8 b @ 2 inches (approximation)
George Downing Surfboards, Hawaii.

Ed and Randi Economy Collection
"...one of ten shaped by George Downing and was his personal board. Stripes on fin were used to identify boards that went out to sea as these were pre-leash days. This was a common occurrence at Sunset beach in the early 1960 's."
Blackburn, page 73


1960
Rounded D fin 
laminated fibreglass 
8 x 10 b @ 1 inches  (Approximation)
Note in timber fin stringer and decals.
Greg Noll Surfboards USA

Photograph :Don Blanch 
LONGBOARD Magazine
Vol 4 No 5.  1996
November/December
page 68


1960
Rounded D fin 
Laminated chop-strand mat
Red pigment
Australia
8 x 10 b @ 1/2 inches  (Approximation)

1960
Square fin 
Laminated Ash and Walnut, Fibreglass
8 x 8 b @ n/a inches  (Approximation)

Cary B. Weiss Collection
Photograph : Douglas Congdon-Martin
Schiffer  page 58.


1960
Popout (Square) fin 
Molded polypropelene 
9 x 89b @ n/a inches  (Approximation)
Designed by Gerry Williamson for Malibu Plastics, USA.
Aluminum box
The fin was removable, floated and designed to release if heavy contact.
The design was used in Australia by Dunlop Surfboards, circa 1964, see below.

Photograph :Uncredited
LONGBOARD Magazine
Vol 7 No 6.  November/December 1999 page 85


Dunlop Surfboards
Qld ?
1962
Dunlop fin box, circa 1963.

Vary the fin to different surfs.
Remove it for easy transportation.
Fin is held firmly in position with specially designed nylon  slot attachment.


1960
Greenough
Laminated fibreglass
Dimensions?
George Greenough's second fin circa 1960,
on a balsa kneeboard built 1959...
 "wood shop at school...the first flexible, 
high aspect ratio fin I tried."
Originally the board had a 
conventional fin of the period. 
Photograph & Quotes:
George Greenough,
The Australian Surfer's Journal
Volume 2 No 2 Autumn 1999 pages 82-84.

1962
Greenough Twin Fins 
Laminated fibreglass
Dimensions?
Photograph : George Greenough    Crockett, Andrew : Switch-foot, page 175.
The (balsa spoon) board was built in 1962, originally as "a twin fin, but as time went on, I moved the fins closer together, and it kept working better and better. Eventually, it turned into a single fin!"
 - George Greenough,
Moving Forward - A Greenough Scrapbook : 1960 - 1970
The Australian Surfer's Journal Volume 2 No 2 Autumn 1999 pages 84, 86 and 87
1963
Square Fin 
laminated fibreglass,
yellow resin stripe decor.
JohnSaffron Surfboards 

1963
D Fin
laminated red wood and balsa with thin glass 
bead.
8 1/4 x 10 b @ 2 inches
# 24
Balsa Malibu

1963
Early Cutaway or Dorsal or Dolphin fin. 
Chop strand mat 
9 1/2 x 12 b @ 0 inches
Surf Craft Sticker 
Red Surfcraft permit 1986-1969  #1540.
Randwick Council (Southern Beaches), Sydney
Crude  fin with extended base to tail. 
#120 
Shane Surfboards

1964
Reverse D. 
Reverse/Phil/Pixie Fin
10 1/2 x 9 b @  9 inches
Laminated 10oz cloth. 
Set at the tail step.
#190
King Surfboards Step Tail 

1964
Rounded D fin 
9 x 19 b @ 2 inches  (Approximation)

Multi
                laminate wood D fin, 1962
1964
D fin 
Multi timber laminate 
Resin Bead
9 x 19 b @ 2 inches  (Approximation)
McDonagh Surfboards

1964
Twin Keel Fins
Pigmented chop strand mat
Minimal foiling
4 1/2 x 9 1/2 b @  1 inches
# 50 
Barry Bennett Surfboards Belly board 

1964
Dorsal, 
Laminated fibreglass
Deep foiling at rear near base
9 x 10 1/2 b x 13  1/22 s @  3  1/2 inches
Barry Bennett Surfboards 

1964
Bat Fin
Laminated fibreglass
8 x 11 b @ 3 inches  (Approximation)
Dave Sweet Surfboards USA

Photograph : Don Balch
LONGBOARD Magazine
Vol 4 No 5.  1996
November/December
page 70


1964
Tunnel Fin
Originally by  Richard Deese.
-Thanks to  Paul D. Gross
Image - Hustler Fin
Laminated fibreglass
8 x 18 b @ 6 inches ??? (Approximation)
Ski & Dive (Surfboards) USA

Photograph : Don Balch
LONGBOARD Magazine
Vol 4 No 5.  1996
November/December
page 70


Australian Advertisment (from unsourced clipping) circa 1965...
The Fabulous Tunnel Fin
Bombora Surf Shop Box 2216 GPO Sydney
"The greatest breakthrough in surfboard design since
the introduction of the short board in 1956"
- Includes review by Dennis Olsen
American Surf Guide April 1964.
Cost by Mail Order 59/6 + 3/6 postage.
Aust. Patent : 435221/64
1964
Greenough
Laminated fibreglass
Dimensions?
Velo Balsa Spoon  Fin  circa 1964. 
The board was built in 1962, originally as "a twin fin, but as time went on, I moved the fins closer together, and it kept working better and better. Eventually, it turned into a single fin!"
Photograph & Quotes
George Greenough, 
The Australian Surfer's Journal
Volume 2 No 2 Autumn 1999 
pages 84, 86 and 87.

Gun fin,1960,
                Checked
1965
Gun fin 
Checkered  timber laminate with deep glass bead 
7 x 13 b @ 8 inches  (Approximation)
Flippy Hoffman's personal board
Dewey Weber Surfboards, USA

Photograph :Bjorn DeBoer 
LONGBOARD Magazine
Vol 4 No 5.  1996
November/December page 69


1965 
Noserider  (Nuuihwa adaptation?)
Two colour laminated fibreglass
91/2 x 11 b @  2 inches
 # 87
Gordon & Smith (Australia) Surfboards Noserider 

1965
Greenough Stage I 
Laminated fibreglass
10 x 7 b @  2 inches (approximation)
First  fin (left) by George Greenough fitted to a conventional surfboard, early 1965. 
The board (approximately 9 ft, probably a Hayden) was shaped and/or ridden by Algie Grud.
The fin on the right is common for the period.

Photograph & Notes: George Greenough, 
The Australian Surfer's Journal
Volume 2 No 2 Autumn 1999 page 105.


1965
RennieYater Fin by Tom Morey's Skeg Works 
Polypropelene
8 x 9 1/2 b @ n/a inches  (Approximation)

Advertisement for Tom Morey Skeg Works 
235 W. Santa Clara Street, Ventura, California.
Surfer Magazine
July 1965, Volume 6 Number  3, page 69 .
 


1965
Fin Stabilizer (on D fin)
???
8 x 9 1/2 b @ n/a inches  (Approximation)

One of several experiments encouraged by Tom Morey's Noseriding Contest at Ventura in July 1965.

Unaccredited.
Bill Cleary: 
"Nose Riding - A sport within a sport."
Surfer Magazine,
November 1965, Volume 6 Number 5, page 33.


1965
Offset Fin Boxes (additional control skegs)
Polypropelene
8 x 9 1/2 b @ n/a inches  (Approximation)
Another experiment encouraged by Tom Morey's Noseriding Contest.
Unaccredited.
Bill Cleary: 
"Nose Riding - A sport within a sport."
Surfer Magazine,
November 1965, Volume 6 Number 5, page 33.

1965
Yater #2 
Polypropelene
8 x 9 1/2 b @ n/a inches  (Approximation)
Note Wonder Bolt at fin base
- a stainless steel capstan  that tightened against the rear of of a fin box.

C. R. Steck Collection
Photograph : Douglas Congdon-Martin
Schiffer  page 59.


1965
Hatchet fin by Weber

7x 11 b @ 5 inches  (Approximation)
Weber Performer
Dewey Weber Surfboards USA


1965
Hynson Dorsal - Red fin 
Laminated fibreglass
9 x 9 b @ 4inches  (Approximation)
Gordon and Smith Surfboards USA

Alan Seymour, Pacfic Coast Vintage Auctions
Blackburn, page 228


1965
Straightback 
Laminated fibreglass
10 1/2 x 10 1/2 b x 10  1/2 s @ 4inches 
Scott Dillon Surfboards

1966
Dorsal - Dolphin
Red pigment laminated fibreglass.
9 x10 b @ 3 inches. 
Slight foiling to rear edge.
Australian copy of Hynson Dorsal (Red Fin)
Gordon and Smith Surfboards USA
#169
Barry Bennett  Surfboards

1966
Flow-thru Fin 
Laminated fibreglass
10x 10 b @ 1 inches ??? (Approximation)
White Owl Surfboards USA

Photo: Don Balch 
LONGBOARD Magazine
Vol 4 No 5.  1996
November/December
page 70


1966
Tiger tail fin 
Laminated fibreglass
12 x 8 b @ 5 inches  (Approximation)
Tiger Espere
Greek Surfboards USA

Photo: Don Balch
LONGBOARD Magazine
Vol 4 No 5.  1996
November/December
page 70


1966
Weber Turbo Fin
Laminated fibreglass ?
11'' x 5'' b @ 4 inches  (Approximation)
Factory Powered by Weber Noserider  Model
Weber Surfboards USA

Image cropped from
Warshaw : Surfriders   page 77
Photograph by Leroy Grannis


1966
Nuuhiwa Noserider Fin
Laminated fibreglass
8 x 10 b @ 2 inches  (Approximation)
Nuuhiwa Noserider Model
Bing Surfboards USA

Hoffman Collection
Blackburn, page 130


1966
Hobie Bolt-Thru 
Molded Polypropylene
10 x 10 b @ 1 inches ??? (Approximation)
Removable fin that is fixed by a bolt in the deck.
Precursor to to Tuttle Sailboard fin box system.
Corky Carroll Flexible Model
Hobie Surfboards USA

1966
da Cat fin
Molded ABS
8 x 8 b @ n/a inches  (Approximation)
Micki Dora da Cat Model
Greg noll Surfboards, USA
Base tounge and indent to lock into corresponding fin box.

C. R. Steck Collection
Photograph : Douglas Congdon-Martin
Schiffer  page 58


1966
Greenough
Laminated fibreglass
10' x 8" base
Velo SS MKII fin 1966. 10' x 8" base 
Photograph? and Notes: Paul Gross: 
"Far-out Flexible Surfboard
- Wave of the Future ?
The Australian Surfer's Journal
Volume 1 No 4 Spring1998 page 18.

1966
Midget Farrelly Fathead
12 1/2" x 8" base @ 7 1/2'', 
Laminated fibreglass.

Catalogue #00000350
Photograph by Garry Crockett, with thanks.

Midget was supplying a variation on this design in 1995.
See below.
 


1967
Greenough
Laminated fibreglass
Dimensions?
Surfboard flex fin 1967.
Board shaped?/ridden by Danny Hazard. 
Photographs : Al Lees,
Notes : George Greenough.
Moving Forward
A Greenough Scrapbook : 1960 - 1970
The Australian Surfer's Journal
Volume 2 No 2 Autumn 1999 page 73.

1967
UFO
Laminated fibreglass
12 x 7 b @ 5 inches  (Approximation)
Rick Surfboards, USA

Photo: Don Balch 
LONGBOARD Magazine
Vol 4 No 5.  1996
November/December
page 70


1967 
G &S Hy-Performance (Mike Hyson)
Gordon and Smith Surfboards, USA
- thanks to Paul D. Gross
Laminated fibreglass
11 1/2 x 11 b @ 9 1/2  inches 
 # 26
Gordon and Smith (Australia) Vee Bottom

1967
F fin 
Laminated fibreglass
12 x 4 b @ 9 inches  (Approximation)
Richard Harvey (Crusader Model?)
Ron Wade Surfboards ? 

Richard Harvey interview
Surfing World Volume 11 Number 1 1968

Margan and Finney, page 167


1967
Eliminator fin 
Laminated fibreglass
12 x 7 b @ 6 inches  (Approximation)
Eliminator Model
Greek Surfboards   USA

1968
Greenough
Laminated fibreglass
Dimensions?
Surfboard flex fin 1968. 
Board shaped by George Greenough,
ridden by Terry Keys. 
Probably Wilderness Surfboards. 
Photograph and Notes : George Greenough, The Australian Surfer's Journal
Volume 2 No 2 Autumn 1999 page 72.




1968
Greenough Stage III ? 
Dappled fibreglass laminate
13 1/2 x 8 b @ 9 1/2  inches
#107
WM Surfboards Pin Tail Vee Bottom

1968 
Finger fin
Fibreglass laminate
9 x 6 1/2 b @ 9 1/2  inches
#111
Scott Dillon Pin tail
Probably not the original fin.

1968 
Butterfly fin by Scott Dillon
Fibreglass laminate
Estimation: 9 x 6 1/2 b @ 9 1/2  inches

Scott Dillon convex bottom, ridden by Dr. Robert Spence.
Also tested by Nat Young and Bob Kennerson

Surfing World 
Volume 10 Number 4, 
March-April 1968, page 43. 


1968
Flex fin
Fibreglass laminate
10 1/2 x 9 1/2 b x 15 s @ 10  inches
#303
Hayden Surfboards Pin tail
Internal rovings.

1969
Skipp Frye's New-e-free fins
Waveset fin box (?)
Surfing Magazine, circa 1969. Page 31. 

1969
Greenough Stage III  - Wave Set 
Laminated fibreglass
Dimensions?
Molded. Tapered wedge base, fixed by two screws, into nuts set in the molded box. 
Greenough Stage IV by Wave Set Fins, circa 1970. 
Photograph : George Greenough,
Notes : Paul Gross
Moving Forward
A Greenough Scrapbook : 1960 - 1970
The Australian Surfer's Journal
Volume 2 No 2 Autumn 1999 page 73.

1969 
Safe Set Fin (Large) and Box 
Molded Plastic
11  x 8 1/2 b @ 10  inches
#69
Keyo Tracker


1969 -1970
Waveset The Finger Fin 
Molded Plastic 

Decal image forwarded by Robyn, with thanks, April 2014.



1969
Safe Set Fin (Small) and Box
Molded Plastic
8 1/2 x 7b @ 9 1/2?  inches
Possibly re-shaped
#67
Surf Design Mini Gun
Dick van Straalen







1969
Farrelly Surfboards
Image contributed with thanks by Eric Bayliss, September 2007.

1969
Egg Pivot Fin
8 1/2 x 4 1/2  b @ 5 inches
#45
Geoff McCoy Egg
Keyo Surfboards

#45, Keyo egg fin
1969
Side Slipper  Fin and Box
8 3/4''  x 6'' b @ 6 1/2  inches
Molded black plastic
Notched Fin box with plastic clip lock
#217
Side Slipper
Keyo Surfboards

1969
Adjustable fin and fin box with fore and rear locking clips.
Burfrord Surfboards, South Australia.
Contributed, with thanks by Mike Brown, Adelaide, January 2007.
Mike noted
The Burford fin box and fin has no stampings.
I reckon Don had these made up.
My Arnold/Lynch boards which have the same setup are identical, but some fins have 'Made in Australia', others haven't.

SURFER Volume 10 Number 4 September 1969
Adjustable (two screw) George Greenough Stage IV by Waveset
1970
Adjustable Fin and slotted wedge fin box.
Fin : 8 1/2" x 6''b x 9 1/2'' span 
Black, molded "glass filled nylon".
Rear post-production legrope hole.
Finbox : 12'' @ 5 1/2''
Image below.
When new, the system used several plastic locking clips that filled the exposed section, see above.
The fin and box probably manufactured by Simplex Fins, South Australia.
Advertising image and text below.
Probably copied from a Waveset (USA) design circa 1968.
The design was short lived and was replaced with the universally adopted Bahne box.

1970
Simplex I Fin system.
"No bolts, keys or any hardware.
So simple, the fin can be changed in seconds.
The precision box allows 
six positions over a five inch adjustment span.
Three fin shapes in glass filled nylon, 
colours green, blue, red, yellow, white and black.
SIMPLEX Fin Systems
142 Gawler Place, Adelaide, 5000 Phone 23 5505"
Surf International
Volume 3 Number 3, circa 1970. Page 2.

1970
Simplex II Fin system.
"
SIMPLEX Fin Systems
142 Gawler Place, Adelaide, 5000 Phone 23 5505"
Surf International
Volume 3 Number 3, circa 1970. Page 2.

1970
D fin - Coolite Timber Adaption.
Timber

1970
Greenough Stage IV  - Wave Set 
Molded.
Dimensions?
Segmented base that slotted into a molded box and fixed by clips. 
See Twin fin I 1971, below..
Greenough Stage IV by Wave Set Fins, circa 1970. 
Photograph : George Greenough, 
Notes : Paul Gross
Moving Forward
A Greenough Scrapbook : 1960 - 1970
The Australian Surfer's Journal
Volume 2 No 2 Autumn 1999 page 73.

1970
Guidance Fin System : Twin fin I 
Unknown constuction
5 x 7 b @ n/a inches  (Approximation)
Note the symetric foil.

Photo: Don Balch
LONGBOARD Magazine
Vol 4 No 5.  1996
November/December  page 70
 


Paul D. Gross reports, with thanks...
Guidance System fin boxes circa 1970.
A copy of Wave Set's adjustable system using a segmented or notched base with the fin held by moulded plastic clips.
Both systems were to be rapidly replaced by the Fins Unlimited ( Bahne) system, circa 1971."
# 45 Farrelly script '69
1970
Twin Fin 1
Fibreglass
Left : 6 1/4  x 4 b @ 5 1/2 inches.
Right : 6 3/4  x 4 b @ 5 1/2 inches.
Clear laminate with fin patch
High aspect Greenough
Toed in to nose, but tip-out not symetric, probably due to non-expert repairs
Note the fins, probably original, have been heavily damaged, possibly trimed and reinforced.
#134
Farrelly Surfboards

Farrelly
230 Harbord Road, Brookvale 2100, NSW, Phone 939-1724. 

This is the first removable, sliding fibreglass fin unit in Australia.
It can be found on Farrelly surfboards, Midget has always preferred glass 
fins refusing to install substitutes and he has this patented system that will
revolutionize fin systems all over the world.
This fin system is installed in new boards at no extra cost.

Surfing World 
Volume 13 Number 5, circa May-June 1970, page 39


1971
Surf ski fin and fin box
Fin features a segmented base that slots into a molded box, and clicks back to lock.
This example is missing the plastic clips that close the slot. 
Australian version of the Guidance Fin System - see above.
Molded plastic.
5 1/2'' x 6'' b x 0'' span @ n/a inches 
Symmetric foil.

Image right - male notched fin base.
Close up fin base,
note MADE IN AUST.

Fin box 12 inches.
Image left -  molded female box
Close up of slots in fin box.

1971
Greenough Stage IV
Fibreglass laminate 
 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 b @ 6 inches
#44
Hutchinson Surfboards

1971
Twin Fin 1
Red pigment chop stand mat, 
5 3/4 x 4  b @ 4 inches
Tipped, Toed, note standard foil - not asymmetric
#71
Walsh Surfboards

1971 
Twin fin I 
Multi colour laminate fibreglass
7 x 4 b @ 4 inches (approximation)
#106
Pat Morgan Surfboards

1971
Tri fin
Laminated fibreglass
Centre fin : 5 layer laminated fibreglass
8 1/2  x 6 b @ 4 1/2 inches
Side fins : 5 layer laminated fibreglass
3/4  x 2 b @ 6 1/2 inches
#211
Shaped by Dan Calohan
Plastic Fantastic Surfboards, USA

1971
Tri fin
Three way fibreglass laminate 
Single fin fixed in internal fin box.
8 x 6 b @ 5 inches 
Two wide base side fins 
2 1/2 x 2 1/2 b @ 8 inches 
#9
Bob McTavish Tri Fin
Bennett Surfboards

1971
Internal fin box.
Fibreglass laminate 
Single fin fixed in internal fin box. 
Barry Bennnett Surfboards, circa 1971.

Estimated : 8 x 6 b @ 5 inches 
Photograph Sydney Surf Auction, 
Mona Vale  Hotel, 
Sydney, 25 - 26 September 2003 
Catalogue No. 20 
Thanks to Mick Mock. 



1971 Pat Morgan Keel Fin
Three way laminated fibreglass
5 x 10 b @ 1 1/2 inches (estimation)
Image, with thanks, by Darren Johnston.
4.75'' x 26 " base @ 0''

TRACKS March 1973 Number 30 page 29 (?).
Design: Pat Morgan Pintail Keel 7ft 7'',  Finlength: 24'' (?)
Twin Keel 6ft 2'' x 20'', Fin length: 21'' (?)
1972 
Pat Morgan  Keel fin , (second generation?)
Three layer laminate,
white , mauve, white
 9'' x 13 3/4'' base x 0'' span. @ 3''
Thin with light foil on trailing edge.

1972 
Pat Morgan  Keel fin , (second generation?)
Two layer laminate,
white and mauve
10'' x 14'' base x 0'' span. @ 3'' (estimated)
Thin with light foil on trailing edge.
Image supplied by George of Geelong, November 2009.

1971
Tri fin
Fibreglass laminate 
Single fin  8" x 6" base @ 5 1/2 inches 
- green laminate 
Post production two wide base side fins
2 1/2" x 2 1/2"  @ 12 1/4 inches - white.

1972
Tri fin
Fibreglass laminate 
Single fin, with legrope hole.
8 x 4 b x 8 span @ 5 inches (estimated) 
Two wide base side fins 
3 1/2 x 2 1/2 b @ 13 inches (estimated) 

Dolphin Surfboards
South Australia?
-probably not a professional manufacturer.

Image emailed by George from Adelaide, October 2008.


1972 
Rubber fin 
6 1/2 x 4 1/2 b @ 8 inches 
 Fixed through board with wedges, shown.
#34
Coolite
Midget Farrelly Surfboards




1973 
Bonzer fins
Original design by Cambell Bros. USA
Centre fin : black and clear laminate
7 1/2  x 5 1/2  b @ 6'' 
Bonzer / Keel fins :  blue/white/blue laminate
2 x 9 1/2 b @ 12'' 
#180
South Coast Surfboards

1973 
Pipeliner fin
Plastic molded fin in fin box for a juvenile board, approximately 5ft  4''.
No dimensions.

Fin image forwarded by Sammy S., October 2011.





#25 McCoy/Brewer fin
1974 
Weber S/b Bonzer
Centre fin box : 8 inch @ 4 1/2''
Centre fin : 
Moulded wide base, thick profile, rear fin tab. 
7 1/2 x 5 1/2  b @ n/a inches
Bonzer / Keel fins :  2 1/2" x 9 1/2'' base @ 9''
 Not toed in, parrallel to stringer.
Tipped out at 45 degrees
Thin, not foiled.
Clear laminated.
#198
Weber Surfboards, USA

1974
Mike Hynson Dolfin
Fibreglass and decoration
8 x 8 b @ n/a inches  (Approximation)
USA
Base tounge at rear

C. R. Steck Collection
Photograph : Douglas Congdon-Martin
Schiffer  page 59


1974 
Carabine Kneeboard Fin 
& Aluminium fin box 
Fin
8'' x 3 1/2'' base x 10'' span @ n/a
Aluminium fin box 15 1/2''
by Wakefield Surfboards
Granville NSW

Dimensions and photographs at
Surf's Up At Gerringong Board Display, August 2005. 
Thanks to Scott Andrews 



1975
Terry Fitzgerld Design: P/N TF.1
PO Box 93 Byron Bay NSW Australia 
Height: 8''

#58
                Crozier Tri fins 1975
Crozier Kneeboard Fin 
& Flex tail 
Fin
8'' x 3 1/2'' base x 10'' span @ n/a ???
Fin box 
15 1/2'' ???
 

Photograph supplied with thanks by
David Smythe, New Zealand January 2006



1975
Simon Anderson Power-board (Moulded) Fin 
Moulded plastic
8'' x 3 1/2'' base x 6'' span @ n/a ???
[estimation]
Four screws into recessed fin box.
Below, moulded identification and legrope plug combination.


Images supplied with thanks by Noddy H., May 2014



1976 
Dick Brewer Wide base
Blue laminated fibreglass
8 x 5 1/2 b @ 7 inches 
#25
McCoy Surfboards

1977
Mark Richards' Twin fin II
Three colour laminated fibreglass
6 x 5  b @ 7 inches
#40
Mark RichardsSurfboards Twin fin

1977
Michael Cundith Slotted Twin fin II
Estimate - 6 x 5  b @ 7 inches
Sky Surfboards, Byron Bay.
Photograph : Don Blach.
Surfer Magazine, June 1978.
Volume 19 Number 2 page 62.

1979
Star Systems Twin fins,
Mark Richards Model
Gordon and Smith Surfboards (USA)

Surfing  Magazine May 1979.
Volume 15 Number 5, page 9.


1978
Butterfly Fin
Molded plastic
Fin box.
6 x 5  b @ n/a inches???
Honey Surf, Gerringong NSW
Previous version  Velsy-Jacobs Surfboards, USA circa 1955.
#73 No.1
Gordon and Smith Lazor Zap




1980
Peter Drouyn Asymmetic Twin Fins 
Photograph : Jeff Hornbaker.
Surfing Magazine
September 1980
Vol 19 Number 9 Page 87

1980
X fin 
Scott Bucknell, 
Race Surfboards, Hawaii
Photo:Jim Russi
FROM WHERE?
Bill Barnfield http://www.ragingisle.com (noted Hawaiian shaper - ) emailed in December 2005...
The X-Fin was created by Scott Bucknell of Race Surfboards in Haleiwa, Hawaii.  He had a shop on Kam highway across from mine for a long time but not anymore.  But he still lives in the area.
1981
Thruster
laminated fibreglass
4 1/2 x 4 1/2  b @ n/a inches???
Design by  Simon Anderson.
#95
Energy Surfboards Thruster

1981
Peter Townend Bi - Fin
Bronzed Aussie Surfboards/
G & S Surfboards
Asymmetrical board template and corresponding asymmetric fin placement.
Surfer Magazine,October 1981
Volume 22, Number 10, page 42.
Photograph : Guy Motil
See... :
Peter Townend  :
Two, Two, Two Boards in One  (Bi-fin.)
SURFING Magazine
June 1981  Volume 17 Number 6  Page 27.
Bob McTavish : The Asymmetric Story
Seanotes Magazine, 1978

1981
Omni Fin (Uncredited)
Plastic
Surfer Magazine,October 1981
Volume 22, Number 10, page 43.
Photograph : Michael Hicks
" The Omnifoil consists of a bracket which attaches to the rear of the fin box, and suspends two diamond-shaped foils. These foils may be easily adjusted upward or downward to create tail lift or bite. The upward position makes for a hydrofoil effect, allowing the tail to ride higher in the water. The downward adjustment works in the opposite manner, acting essentially the same as a bigger fin for use in big or choppy waves. The asymmetrical positioning of the foils to enhance certain types of backside and frontside turns, is presently being explored."
Precedent by Mike Dolye & Rusty Miller, circa 1967.

circa 1982
Multi Fins (Uncredited)
Laminated fibreglass, fixed and boxed.
Surfing Magazine, March, 1990
Volume 26 Number 3, Page 102.

Included in an article titled 
Dubious Achievements :
"Following Simon Anderson's development 
of the thruster in 1981, surfboard 
designers everywhere decided that if three's
to be, four will score, five's no jive, six's the
pick, seven's heaven, eight'll be great..."


1982
Jet-wing Thurster Fins.
Nat Young Surf Design

Image contributed with thanks by Eric Bayliss, October 2008.


1984
Starfin [Winged Keel] 
Molded plastic 
Fin box.
6 x 5  b @ n/a inches???

" developed by Ben Lexcen in 1984, it was my concept (and) his design, we worked on it together." 
(plus date ajustment and update of weblink) 
http://www.cheynehoran.com.au/starfin.asp
- Cheyne Horan, email July 2013., many thanks to Cheyne.

#73 No.2 Gordon and Smith Lazor Zap


1984
Jet-wing Quad Fins.
Ocean Rhythm Surfboards,  Raglan New Zealand.

Image contributed with thanks by Muzza, June 2013..


1984
Quad Fins.
Horizon Surfboards.

Image contributed with thanks by Muzza, June 2013..


1985
Express Kneeboard Quad or Four Fin.
#206
Following the success of Simon Anderson's Thruster in 1981, several variations in fin placement and size were tried, one being the Four fin by Glen Winton from the Central Coast, NSW circa 1981.
(Nat Young's Fundamentals, Page 102). 

1985
Friar Tuck Kneeboard 4 Fin (Quad)
#343
White laminated fibreglass 
5 1/4  x 5 3/4 base x 7 1/2 inch span
Fitted with rear fin cams.
Dion Chemicals 10 inch Fin boxes @ 14 inches.
White laminated fibreglass 
2 1/2  x 3 1/2  base x 4 inch span.
Dion Chemicals 6 1/2 inch Fin boxes 
@ 21 1/2 inches
Fitted with front fin screws - brand?

1986
Thruster with centre fin box 
#31

1987
Wing Fin
Molded plastic
Thruster centre fin by Multifins
Fin box.

1987
Zip Fin
Molded plastic
Thruster centre fin by Multifins
Fin box.

1987
Turbo Fin
Molded plastic
Thruster centre fin by Multifins
Fin box.

1987
Ski Fin
Molded plastic
Thruster centre fin by Multifins
Commonly used on wave skis.
Fin box.

1986
Quad Split Wing Assymetric
Molded plastic by Multifins
Quad fins 
Fin boxes.

Image supplied, with thanks,  by John Mattes, July 2009.


1986
Split Wing Assymetric
Molded plastic
Thruster side fins by Multifins
Fin box.

1988 
Fin Cam
Finger adjustable fin screw.

1990 
FCS removable fins and plugs

# 81
Channel Islands Surfboards
by Al Merrick


1995
Malibu Tri Fins 
Glassed plywood centre fin. 
All fins boxed.

1995
Midget Farrelly Fathead 
Laminated fibreglass and cloth
Fin box.

1998
Swivell Fin
Available in four sizes (115,110,100 & 85mm)
Molded plastic,  Adjustable Fin Plug.

1999
Tom Wegner 
Laminated fibreglass and timber
Pigmemnted glass bead
Matching tail block

  2002
Kym Thompson Cutaway 
Laminated fibreglass
Pigment and cloth.
Fin box.

2004
Turbo Fin
Molded Lexan  resin
Fin box.
9 1/2'' and 7 1/2'' models
Note Weber Turbo Fin, circa 1966 - above.

2008
Alifin - Rabbit Ear, Butterfly fin.
www.alifins.com.au
Aluminium
Two blades, each 4 1/2'' height  x 4 1/4'' base x 6 1/2'' span.
Depth 4''.
Fin box.
Also avaialble to fit FCS plugs.
9 cm, 10 cm and 12cm models.

Note Velsey Rabbit Ear (circa 1955) and Honey Surf Butterfly Fin (circa 1978) - above.


Image left:
Alifin - Rabbit Ear, Butterfly fin, 2008.

the fins of george greenough
sailboard fin catalogue
home catalogue history references appendix


References
1. John Kelly : Surf and Sea  pages 120-124
2. Uncredited: Malibu Fin Appendix, in SURFER Magazine, Vol 17 No 2. 1976 June/July
3. Uncredited: Time Machines, in SURFING Magazine, Vol 25  No 2. 1989 February
4. Paul Holmes: The fin - that which drives us, in LONGBOARD Magazine, Vol 4 No 5.  1996
    November/December
5. Mark Fragale: The Morey-Pope Thought Factory, in
    Longboard Magazine Volume 6 No 7 January/February  1999 pages 92 - 99.
6. Paul Gross: Moving Forward - A George Greenough Scrapbook: 1960-19670,
            in The Australian Surfer's Journal  Volume 2 No 2 Autumn 1999 pages 68- 121.
7. Paul Gross: Inventions: Tom Morey, in The Australian Surfer's Journal  Volume 3 No 1 Summer 2000, pages 80 - 89. 

Relevant Definitions

 

HEIGHT  (INCHES)
 

BASE (INCHES)
 
 
 
 
 

SPAN (INCHES)
 

@ (INCHES) FROM TAIL


fin / skeg
stabilizing wing attached to the bottom of the board, usually at the tail.
Dimensions are length (height or depth), base, foil and surface area (sailboards).
First use credited to Tom Blake (Hawaii) circa 1934.
Some commentators also recognize the contribution of Woody Brown and George Downing.

fin area
surface of the fin, usually one side only, rarely quantified for surfboards but often calculated
on modern sailboard fins.

fin base
length where the fin intersects with the board.

fin box
A fabricated structure inserted into the board that allows fin replacement.
Some models allow the fin position to be adjusted.

Apparently there was some experimentation was during the solid wood era. but the most significant application was experiments in the mid-1940's by George Downing and Wally Froiseth in Hawaii.
They made a test board with a removable fin slot and rode it with different fin designs in different positions, and without a fin.
Their conclusion was that the finned board had superior performance, virtually regardless of fin design.
(Kelly, page 121)

The first production models appeared in the early 1960ís in the USA.
Since many boxes were limited to the manufacturers' sole fin design, the impetus to manufacture boxed boards was enhanced by the cost advantages in freighting finless surfboards.
This was certainly a consideration for the larger Californian manufacturers in the mid-1960's, for whom the East coast was a major market.

At first fins were not universally interchangeable as each manufacturer used a different locking system, but in in 1965 Tom Morey  at Morey-Pope Surfboards developed the TRAF system of molded fins, available to a small number of Northern California board makers.
In 1966 the design was improved by the introduction of thr Wonder Bolt system, again by Tom Morey.
In February 1968 Morey introduced the Waveset box and a range of molded fins for general use.
This design was essentially copied by the Safe Set system.
The most popular and significant fin designs were by George Greenough who produced three models - Stage I, III and IV.

In the late 1960's, continuing reductions in board dimensions saw extensive fin design experimentation, with some designers focusing on sideslipping, note Skipp Frye's New-e-free fins, circa 1969.
The original Waveset box was too bulky relative to the smaller boards and circa 1970 it was updated with a male notched fin base slotting and locking into a molded female box.
This design was replicated by Guidance Fin System and other manufacturers.

In 1971 Bill Bahne (USA) introduced his Fins Unlimited fin box, that by 1974 was to become universally adopted and replicated.
It is still in current use.
It's huge success was a direct result of the box's ability to accept laminated fibreglass fins of a multitude of designs.
Note that ...
- many riders considered the fibreglass fins superior in performance to molded plastic.
- the fibreglass fins could be manufactured by any experienced laminator.
- the fibreglass fins could be easily reshaped and repaired.
- they were interchangable with boards from different manufacturers.

In Australia in the early 1970's Bahne's design was manufactured in fibreglass (see #83), but this was shortlived as the large scale production of molded boxes substantially reduced the unit price.
In 1974 an Australian company, Wakefield Surfboards, unsuccessfully attempted to market an aluminium model.

With an expanding number of fin designs in the late 1970's for kneeboards, waveskis and the twin-tin surfboard, boxes were available in a variety of lengths to either fit small based fins or allow maximum variation in fin placement.
Many Thruster designs of the early1980's featured two fixed side fins and a short centre fin box to allow the rider some variation in fin selection and placement.
In the 1980's the fin box was an important feature of sailboard design.
They allowed extensive fin experimentation and were also fitted into the deck as the mast track.

As surfboards became finer and thinner in the late 1980's the use of fin boxes in shortboards almost disappeared, but in the early 1990's a fin plug system for surfboards.was developed (initially by FCS, subsequently by others).
Further developments in the 1990ís include bolt-through  boxes for sailboards (Tuttle, USA and others).
Updated May 2006, thanks to Nick Van Brugge.


fin dimensions

 

HEIGHT  (INCHES)
 

BASE (INCHES)
 
 
 
 
 

SPAN (INCHES)
 

@ (INCHES) FROM TAIL


fin cam
finbox screw, hinged with a finger grip and fitted with a rubber grommet that allows fin
adjustment by hand, as opposed to the normal method with a screwdriver.

fin height
the length of the fin measured perpendicular to the bottom of the board.
See Dimensions, below.

fin index : a list of significant fin designs to be catalogued, italics indicate unlisted designs.
Tom Blake Keel/Nub
Bob Simons Round/Radius
Simons Twin
Matt Kevlin Raked Round/Gun
(Dale) Velzy-(Hap) Jacobs Dee-fin
Velzy - Jacobs Vee/Butterfly
Square/Angular
Phil (Edwards)/Reverse/Pixie,
Nose-fin
Dave Sweet  High-drift
Ski and Dive Tunnel/Tunnel Hustler
Greenough Stage I
Dave Sweet Bat-fin
White Owl Flow-Thru
Mike Hynson Dol-fin
(Donald) Takyama Blade
Greenough Stage II
(Reynolds) Yater
Dewy Weber Hatchet
Greenough Stage III
Migdet Farrelly Cutaway
Richard Harvey F-fin
Greek Surfboards Tiger Tail
Skip Frye New-E-Free
Gordon and Smith Hy-Performance,
Rick (Stoner) UFO
Greenough Stage IV
Mike Eaton Twin Fin #1
Steve Lis Fish (twin)
Tri-fin
Pat Morgan (Australia)/D. Barnham (USA) Keel
Malcom and Duncan Campbell Bonzer Keel
Jeff Ho StraightBack Radial-cut Flex
Michael Cundith Radial-cut Flex
(Dick) Brewer Wide Base
(George) DowningTrailing Edge
Mark Richards Twin Fin #2
Boomerang
Bob McTavish Fence
Wave-ski Cutaway
SimonAnderson Thruster
(Cheyne) Horan/(Ben) Lexan Keel/Winged Keel/Star
Jimmy Lewis Cutaway
Canard
Glen Winton Four-fin/Quad
Bobby Owens Football
Slotted-fin
757-fin

fin placement
measured as the distance from the rear of the fin base to the tail or back of the board.

home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (1999 - 2014) : Catalogue : Fins
http://www.surfresearch.com.au/f.html